Prosecutors' Office

Domestic Violence Unit

Domestic Violence Unit

The Domestic Violence Unit is committed to improving the quality of life in the City of Cleveland by strengthening our neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing the diversity of our citizens, and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city to live, work and raise a family.

The  Domestic Violence Unit prosecutes misdemeanor crimes, including domestic violence, assault, menacing by stalking, and violation of a protection order. Prosecutors review police reports involving both misdemeanors and felonies. Matters charged as a felony or referred to the Grand Jury are handled by the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office.

In the City of Cleveland, a police report may be generated by an officer responding to a 911 call or by a citizen going into a police district to make a report. Once a police report for domestic violence or a related crime is generated that falls under VAWA (Violence Against Women Act) guidelines, the report is forwarded to the Domestic Violence Unit within the Cleveland Division of Police . The matter is then assigned to a detective for follow-up investigation, and a victim’s advocate will consult with the victim about referrals to social service programs and the court process. All reports assigned to detectives in the Domestic Violence Unit are reviewed by Prosecutors assigned to the Domestic Violence Unit who are dedicated to handling such cases.

If charges are issued for an incident, a victim is eligible for a Temporary Protection Order to be issued by the court against the offender. Such orders restrict offenders from making contact with victims via phone, text, social media, or third parties. A Dedicated Domestic Violence Prosecutor will handle the case from the first pre-trial hearing in court to the final disposition. Throughout the court process, all victims will have access to advocacy services.

  • You are not alone. There is help available, including counseling services, transitional housing, shelter, advocacy services, and more . 
  • If you are in immediate danger, please call 9-1-1. 
  • Your safety is important. There are organizations that can assist you with securing shelter. 
  • Victims are at a greater risk of violence when they try to leave their offender. Advocates, Law Enforcement, and other organizations are here to help victims break the cycle of violence. 
  • ALWAYS call the police first before any family or friends because they will be able to reach you the fastest. 
  • Identify a neighbor you can  talk to and ask that they call the police if they hear disturbances coming from your home. 
  • Practice getting out of your home as quickly and safely as possible. 
  • Have a checklist of things  to take if you need to leave suddenly: Identification, birth certificates, money, passports, SSI card, medications, keys, any lease agreements, etc. 
  • Discuss your safety plan with your children. 
  • Keep a shelter phone number at hand just in case. 
  • Have a safety plan for leaving work. 
  • ALWAYS be aware of your surroundings. 
  • Change your locks if possible and speak with your landlord about what is going on. 
  • Open a savings account in your own name.

Local Resources

Cuyahoga County Witness/Victim Service Center(216) 443-7325
Domestic Relations Court Domestic Violence Dept(216) 698-8529
Legal Aid Society of Cleveland(216) 687-1900
Al-Anon / Alateen Cleveland(216) 621-1381
Journey Center For Safety and Healing (formerly: DVCAC)(216) 391-4357 (HELP)
Recovery Resources(216) 431-4131
Frontline Services(216) 623-6555
Cleveland Rape Crisis Center(216) 619-6194
United Way2-1-1
Catholic Charities(216) 334-2900
Asian Inc.(216) 881-0330
LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland(216) 651-5428
Equality Ohio Legal Clinic(855) 5428-529 (LGBT-LAW)
Nueva Luz Urban Resource Center Legal Clinic(216) 651-8236


VINE Link: VINELink - Ohio ( (The VINE link is for victims to register to be notified of when their offender will be released from jail/ prison.)